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Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

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hone_u2's picture
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Hi everyone

I had replied with the same message in another thread a few minutes ago, but a friend advised me that I should share this experience in a new post because of how comprehensive it was Tongue So here it is!

 

This might shock many!

But the worst piece of Hi Fi that I've ever purchased would be Naim... Hard coming from me as I was a Naim fan for quite a while... But clearly that was the worst consumer experiece I have ever had from a product!

First with the Nait 5i-2, then the CD5i-2 as well...

Then the XS Series...

The Nait 5i Integrated amplifier had a very rare unusual problem of producing a crackle/buzz/static through the left speaker when the volume was increased by way of the remote control. The static was audible from the 9 O' Clock position and became unbearable from when it reached the 12 O' Clock position. Initially I thought it was the speaker after talking to my dealer who also thought it would be the speaker, however, a simple switch of loudspeaker cables from left to right revealed that it was the amplifier. I spoke to the dealer who clearly wasn't aware of the issue, nor was the distributor, and nor was Naim Audio in the UK. I confirmed this by talking to the Customer Service gentleman at Naim Audio himself, who himself was puzzled and mentioned he had never come across the issue before. The distributor then opened a new Nait and experimented the same thing, and realised that the problem existed with that piece as well. After a few days, I received an email from the dealer with an excerpt from who seemed to be an inner engineer at naim, who admitted that he knew about it and the problem existed in every Nait 5i manufactured! And also said that the problem affected a Nait XS as well and that it was the first time that a customer had complained of it, but it existed for god knows how long...! So as the email communication read at that time, it seemed that only he knew about it, and the other part of Naim had no idea whatsoever! I was honestly shocked at the way they seemed to work at naim! They were suposed to inform me when the problem was solved... I'm still to hear from them, I really wonder if the new integrateds still have the same problem!

The CD5i-2 had a skipping problem on random disks... and it just drove me insane! Because it was so intermittent, that I initially wasn't even sure whether it was the player! Then after a lot of elimination of disks, I knew it was the player... Told the dealer... the same thing all over again... "Haven't heard of it!". I gave it to my dealer, he also heard the skip, he sends it to the distributor, he checks it too... but doesn't hear it! I travelled to see the distributor, because he was in another city... he said he couldn't fault it and was going to send it back. At that point I had completely lost my cool! So I called up Naim, spoke to customer service again, and he said he would send down a PIC immediately... That was nice, but it took a whole lot of effort before it could be done!

Then (I have no idea why I was brave enough to purchase Naim again), went in for the XS series components...

they had these marks on them on the brushed metal finish... Told my dealer>Distributor>Naim... and I got a response which shocked me again... it literally said that they will not replace the products because even the new ones will not live up to the scrutiny and is too little to recognize it as a fault! I was really upset... But kept calm... A week later I was informed that Naim had cancelled an entire batch of 'FAULTY' facias... This was confirmed by the administrator on the Naim Forum... The problem was similar to the one I complained about, just 3 days before!

At that point, I really didn't know what to do... I then called up the MD, Paul Stephenson, at naim and told him what happened, and he assured that I would get a good replacement (I appreciate them for that)! Because of my dissatisfaction with the operations of my distributor and dealer, I asked for the replacement to be sent directly to my place, but it was refused... So in the end I just refused to take them and sold off my naim equipment! Even for the money I lost, I'm happy that I got rid of them!

Of course, there are a lot more intricacies to what happened (including a wee live cockroach in the box of my amplifier), but I was just so upset with the way naim operates internationally (in my opinion it completely loses its reputation for customer service outside the UK) that I just gave up! I have heard of and known several other incidents internationally, I'm almost certain that its because Naim's communication is just a complete breakdown outside the UK, in my opinion!

I could understand my dealer's frustration, because Naim kept all this a secret (as it seemed), and the communication among Naim and their representatives just seems to be appaling!

Im even ready to accept that this may have been one bad case out of several satisfied customers, but really the way these people deal with problems, every time, is shocking for me!

I wouldn't mind naim's arrogance if they delivered to me! But honestly this suggested anything but! Not because I'm the customer, but if it were my company, i would atleast offer a decent apology if not any part of a refund!

Worst experience ever!!!

 

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Covenanter's picture
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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

Wow!  That sounds dreadful.  I hope you are happy with the repalcement kit.

Chris

Hi-FiOutlaw's picture
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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

Thanks for sharing your "adventure" with Naim! 

I'm consithering to demo the Naim UnitiQute 2 and your post make me wonder...

 

Overdose's picture
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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

Whilst situations like this don't engender confidence, I cannot imagine that they are the norm.

With any situation that you are unhappy with goods bought, simply understand your rights as a consumer and maintain your position (and cool) in asserting those rights.

I think you have been unfortunate.

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hone_u2's picture
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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

Covenanter wrote:

Wow!  That sounds dreadful.  I hope you are happy with the repalcement kit.

Chris

I refused to take the replacement! I just couldn't use Naim anymore... Completely lost faith in their production quality standards and their service!

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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

My Naim 5i was perfect, whether using remote or not. You've been unlucky.

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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

Hi-FiOutlaw wrote:

Thanks for sharing your "adventure" with Naim! 

I'm consithering to demo the Naim UnitiQute 2 and your post make me wonder...

 

 

Save your money and get a Marantz MCR603 with Neat Iotas - sounds ace got one in the kitchen/diner

I demoed a unitqute months ago, wasnt that impressed, I then bought the Marantz after hearing a mates £300 then £600 on the Iotas is money well spent in my book!

 

 

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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

stevebrock wrote:

Hi-FiOutlaw wrote:

Thanks for sharing your "adventure" with Naim! 

I'm consithering to demo the Naim UnitiQute 2 and your post make me wonder...

 

 

Save your money and get a Marantz with Neat Iotas - sounds ace got one in the kitchen/diner

 

My Dyns X12 are going no where!  excellent!

I still don't know what to do, but that is for another thread...

I'm going to upgrade the Brio R and Rega DAC sooner or later, Streaming is my main listening, 70% streaming 30% vinyl.

 

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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

yuo do realise that the Brio R will kick the Untiqute into space don't you on SQ alone?

You have a good streaming set up, why change?? Unless its a second system

Don't even think about a unitilite......been there mate - honestly whats wrong with SBT/NAS & Rega DAC??? Get a better amp

 

 

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hone_u2's picture
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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

Yes I don't deny that I was unlucky...  rolling on the floor laughing

The 'fault' is very very hard to spot... It showed up especially on my KEF Q500s I guess because of the UniQ driver arrangement... I don't know why but they have been extremely sensitive to higher frequencies... Maybe thats why they picked it up even at lower volumes...

It's caused by the electrical noise from the motor that drives the pot, and as the left channel is a bit closer to the pot (due to the board layout) it picks it up at a very low level. 

I since have tried every Nait in every hi fi store that i've been to, and they've all had it! and it shocked the people in the store too!

Also, I have the email in which they themselves confirmed to me that it was a fault.

 

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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

stevebrock wrote:

yuo do realise that the Brio R will kick the Untiqute into space don't you on SQ alone?

You have a good streaming set up, why change?? Unless its a second system

Don't even think about a unitilite......been there mate - honestly whats wrong with SBT/NAS & Rega DAC??? Get a better amp

 

 

But i'll get a power amp as well if I decide to go on that route and use the UnitiQute as a pre...

Or get a integraded amp with phono input and use it as a power when working with the UnitiQute and integraded when listening to vinyl or TV or HT...

I have some few options that i'm consithering...

Joined: 25 Jul 2011
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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

I'd rate the Nait5i  above the Brio-R. The Brio tends to run out of puff with sudden transients, whereas the Naim handles them with aplomb (which is my word of the day).

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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

altruistic.lemon wrote:

I'd rate the Nait5i  above the Brio-R. The Brio tends to run out of puff with sudden transients, whereas the Naim handles them with aplomb (which is my word of the day).

You're quite the wordsmyth, AL.  excellent!

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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

altruistic.lemon wrote:

I'd rate the Nait5i  above the Brio-R. The Brio tends to run out of puff with sudden transients, whereas the Naim handles them with aplomb (which is my word of the day).

Who said anything about the Brio R vs Nait 5i? 

The Brio R trashes the UnitiQute..........end of  (amp wise)

 

 

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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

altruistic.lemon wrote:

I'd rate the Nait5i  above the Brio-R. The Brio tends to run out of puff with sudden transients, whereas the Naim handles them with aplomb (which is my word of the day).

Brio R 50w

Naim 5i 50w

Naim UnitiQute 2 35w 

 

It is perfecly normal that the Brio R will have more gass that the UnitiQute 2 don't you think?

Joined: 25 Jul 2011
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RE: Horrible experience with Naim Audio!!!

Not necessarily, the Unitiqute might handle the transients better - Naim, NAD and a few others are especially good at this.

Haven't heard a Unitiqute but I'd imagine the Nait would have the same family traits. I liked the Brio R when I first heard it, but subsequent listenings cooled that a bit. It is a good amp, no question, but  felt the Naim and my current Myryad did it better. The Pioneer A 30 I had left me feeling the same way, but, then, my speakers are demanding.